Chestnuts roasting on a open fire,Jack Frost nipping at your... nether regions.
We've been busy despite the snow.Though not with customers.Christmas decorations are up,the place is nipping clean,to be frank,you could eat your dinner off the floor if you were so inclined.
I had a vision of the beams becoming a starry sky,well stay with me here,yes I know they're red,maybe in practice a starry Mars sky.Working on the premise of course,that one can never have too many fairy lights.
We've battled constantly with frozen water-pipes in the kitchen,which has kind of hampered progress, problem finally solved by placing blow heaters strategically in front of the of affected areas and impatiently waiting for the thaw.
There's another seasonal problem which has been giving me far more cause for consternation this week.
The Gents loos.Actually the title 'Gents' is flattering in the extreme,the sign on the door boldly decrees MEN.It takes stoicism to persevere with these but they're a bit of a feature now and they've served well since 1850(I know that because some thoughtful brickie carved his initials and date in the pointing).Besides,I have another far more important reason to retain them...
The man from Michelin paid us his first visit only a couple of months after we arrived here three years ago.In his post repast 'chat' he sneeringly suggested that we might want to do something about the unconventional toilet facilities.In fact he wasn't complimentary at all.He actually told us that the only reason people would come here was for the food .What a bloody cheek,I mean I thought that's what they were meant to be inspecting??So much for surroundings and other associated luxuries only coming into play at 3 Michelin star standard.
Chef smiled through gritted teeth...'I suppose he prefers to inspect the swankier places down the big smoke..
So since then we've been determined to hang onto the Thomas Crappers and retain our entry in the Red book.
Known locally as Ice Station Zebra,you have to be a hardy sort to avail yourself of these conveniences during a Northumberland winter.Last year, I decided to give the lads a bit of a treat,we installed a heater and attractively tiled the walls and floors.I confess I did have an ulterior motive,the floor being concrete and concrete by its very nature being an absorbent material and men being inclined to leave their calling cards on the floor, you can imagine during warmer climes the place did generate quite an odoriferous whiff.
Anyway back to the thing which has been narking me somewhat.
The chaps have been leaving the toilet door open,which kind of defeats the object of the heater.I mean were they born in a field??Yes probably.
So,last Friday I pinned the following cheeky but(I thought) humorous notice on the door in the hope it would grab their attention invoking the desired result, ie a closed door and a welcome absence of pee on the floor.
But no, the door is still left wide open,and to add insult to injury tonight I found this note pinned underneath my notice.
Some people just have no respect.....